Thursday, April 11, 2013
Missouri's Larry Phillips nominated for 2015 NASCAR Hall of Fame
He then proceeded to kick everyone’s ass. And he kept kicking. And kicking. Year after year, Phillips drug his beat-up looking Luminas to the track, and won virtually everything. If a new hot shoe came to town, Phillips stomped him. When the big shot professional touring series boys pulled into town, Phillips could handle them too.
And it was amazing. The way he drove was incredible. It didn’t matter where he started a race, he was usually the leader by the time the field came around for the first lap. If a guy held him up, he’d give him a little quarter panel slide-job when he overtook him in the turns. You weren’t supposed to be able to see it, but it was there if you paid attention.
Phillips reportedly won thousands of races, although an actual count has never been established. One of his strongest years was 1991 when he won 38 out of 40 features at multiple tracks en-route to his second weekly racing series championship. He won the ’95 championship over now Sprint Cup star Greg Biffle in a tie breaker. And he won his final championship in 1996 winning 14 of 20 features.
When I was a NASCAR member about ten years ago, NASCAR sent out a nice book that profiled the 50 greatest drivers in NASCAR history. And sure enough, right there among Richard Petty, Cale Yarborough, and Dale Earnhardt was Larry Phillips. In 2006, NASCAR chronicled their 25 greatest drivers as part of the 25th anniversary of the Weekly Racing Series, and of course, Phillips was at the top of the list. Phillips is in several regional and national racing halls of fame.
Phillips joined Dale Jarrett, track owner Bruton Smith, engine builder Maurice Petty, and 1960 NASCAR champion Rex White for the final five nominations into the NASCAR Hall of Fame. I would love to see him make it, because as someone who watched him race many times, I can tell you that he deserves it.
click this link for a nicer version.